United States v Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo: Selected Testimony (1973)
United States District Court, Central District of California

Opening Statement for the Government by David Nissen
....That brings me to the subject of the defendants' conduct.
Defendant Ellsberg obtained possession of each of these three items*, ostensibly in connection with his work.
Mr. Russo, the other defendant, was not autho­rized to have access to them, even when he had been working at Rand earlier, because he had no duties at all which required his access to them.
And, as I say, by the time the documents were taken and the offences committed, he was not working at Rand.
On March 3, 1969, under a Rand letter which ap­pointed him as a courier, between its Washington, D.C. sub­office and its home office in Santa Monica, Mr. Ellsberg appeared at the Washington office of Rand and obtained ten volumes of the eighteen volumes that we are discussing. That's March 3, '69.
At that time, and before he was allowed to take them, he was required to sign a receipt which stated, in sub­stance, "I certify that I will not copy, reproduce these records," et cetera.
Thereafter on August 28, 1969, again in the Wash­ington suboffice, again with a similar letter, defendant Ellsberg obtained eight other study volumes, the total by that time being eighteen. Again he promised not to copy them, in writing in a certificate.
Now in direct violation of the Industrial Security Manual and the Rand Security Manual and contrary to what he had promised in his memos to the security officer, Mr. Ells­berg failed to deliver those eighteen volumes to the Rand Santa Monica Top Secret Control Officer so that they could be entered into the Rand records of control. Instead he kept them outside someplace for himself.
He retained them until May 20, 1970, a little over a year later. And you will hear how they were ultimately regath­ered by Rand, through another Rand employee.
The Gurtov document was checked out on April 7, 1969, by defendant Ellsberg from the Top Secret Control Officer at Rand Santa Monica. And that document, likewise, was not returned to Rand until May 20, 1970, a little over a year.
The Wheeler report was checked out from the Top Secret Control Officer at Rand Santa Monica on October 3, 1969, by defendant Ellsberg, and it was returned two weeks later on October 17, 1969.
Now the two defendants, Russo and Ellsberg, decided to copy these and other classified documents. They asked a person named Lynda Sinay for the use of the Xerox machine in her office, and she agreed.
She at that time was the girlfriend of defendant Russo. She is still a close friend of both defendants and is named in the indictment as an unindicted, uncharged, co-conspirator.
Mr. Ellsberg said that he had material from his vault at Rand that he wanted to copy relating to the Vietnam war, he was going to leave Rand or was thinking of leaving, and he wanted to take it with him. He also mentioned that Senator Fulbright might like to see them.
On several occasions over a period of time Miss Sinay's office was used for this copying. Typically defendant Ellsberg would bring the documents to be copied into the office, and would take them and the copies out, but on some occasions the copies may have gone with Mr. Russo.
Defendant Russo, Miss Sinay, defendant Ellsberg, and Mr. Ellsberg's thirteen-year-old son, all participated in copying the top secret documents.
At that time Mr. Ellsberg's girlfriend, Kimberly Rosenberg, was present in the offices, his friend Vu Van Thai, also an unindicted co-conspirator, was present on occasion.
In the offices of Miss Sinay defendant Ellsberg's children were used to cut the top secret markings from the top and bottom of the documents.
Also participating in the project was Miss Sinay herself and the two defendants. And it was obviously done so that it would hide from someone who should look at them or casually look at them the true nature of the documents.
Mr. Ellsberg paid Miss Sinay for the use of her copying machine, by the way. . . .
Now the defendant Ellsberg's copying and fur­nishing of these top secret documents to defendant Russo, co­-conspirator Sinay and Thai, to his son and to other people, was in direct violation of a long list of rules and requirements that he had promised to obey.
One was the Industrial Security Manual; one was the Rand Security Manual; one was the security acknowledg­ment which was a condition of his employment; one was his certificate on the receipt for the documents when he obtained them that he would not copy them and so forth; the Presidential Executive Order 10501; as well as the federal criminal laws involved.
Both defendants, Russo and Ellsberg, knew of all these regulations and of the provisions of federal criminal law that dealt with these documents at the time they committed their unlawful acts.
Each volume was stamped prominently in the front with a warning, and I can't quote it exactly, because I don't have it in front of me, but it warned anyone that transmission of the document to an unauthorized person would be a violation of law, because it was a document relating to the national defense.
Secondly, the materials that they received at Rand, including the security acknowledgment that they signed, carried prominently displayed the full text of all the applicable law which they were under and which they signed that they would obey.
It is also obvious from the evidence that they were fully aware that they were violating the law, from merely the way they acted, cutting off the classifications, and, inadvertently while at work in the office, the silent burglar alarm was triggered on a couple of occasions, at least, and the police came to the door, and the defendants were in panic, because they knew that they were doing something that the law forbade. . . .
Now, evidence from the FBI laboratory will re­veal that examination of these documents shows latent finger­prints of the people who I have been naming to you, along with the prints of defendant Ellsberg. Only defendant Ellsberg was authorized to possess the documents, and he only in connection with his official duties, which required his access. He had no authority to possess them for the purpose of copying them, which was strictly forbidden, or for the purpose of passing them to Sinay, Thai, his son, Russo, or anybody else.
That is basically the broad picture of the case as you will hear it. . . .
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